CNN’s Lemon Caught on Tape Warning WarnerMedia CEO About Paying Cuomo’s Multi-Million Dollar Severance

CNN anchor Don Lemon was caught on an audio recording advising CNN not to pay former CNN host Chris Cuomo a multimillion-dollar severance package.

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Multiple sources have heard the recording of the conversation with Lemon, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Speaking to WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, Lemon reportedly asked, “Did you think about what message it sends to the journalists in the company and also to the larger public that someone can be found to break with those journalistic standards and then get paid handsomely for it?”

He continued, “And what is to stop the next person from doing the same thing, and possibly getting compensated for it, by saying, ‘Hey I’m going to spread rumors if you don’t give me this amount of money’?”

Lemon suggested there is a negative impact by paying Cuomo millions of dollars in severance pay after allegations that Cuomo breached journalist ethics.

The two anchors would regularly tell one another “I love you, Brother,” according to sources.

They often attended dinner or social events with one another’s families.

The two turned the act into a podcast titled “The Handoff.” The podcast ended when CNN fired Cuomo.

Kilar responded to Lemon, “That’s a lot of hypotheticals.”

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Lemon cried for the cameras when he announced that Cuomo had tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020. “I’m sorry. I said I wasn’t going to do this. J****!” Lemon said, as he dabbed tears away from his eyes.

But Lemon, like many current CNN employees, had a visceral attachment to recently departed CNN president Jeff Zucker, whom he credited with changing his life. “He is the reason that you have a gay black man with two hours of primetime. A show with my name on it. The only anchor of color in primetime and cable news. Think about that,” Lemon said as he gave his boss an emotional send-off last Friday. “You want to talk about diversity? Here it is.”

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Cuomo’s lawsuit has been credited with bringing down Zucker. CNN reportedly fired its top-rated host for advising his brother, then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, about how to beat back multiple allegations of sexual harassment to a greater extent than he had admitted, as well as allegedly new claims that Chris Cuomo had sexually harassed a woman at another network.

Media reports have said that Cuomo’s legal team threatened to expose Zucker’s undisclosed romantic relationship with CNN executive vice president Allison Gollust, who had served as Andrew Cuomo’s communications director. Rolling Stone reported that sources had information that “Zucker and Gollust were advising the governor at the beginning of the COVID pandemic in ways not dissimilar to what led to Chris Cuomo’s dismissal.“